Graduate Funding Opportunities

The School of Economics (SOE) has limited graduate assistantships (GAs) for exceptional applicants. These GAs provide funding support to cover a stipend (at least $1,748 per month, typically for 9 months for a teaching assistantship (TA) and 12 months for a research assistantship (RA)), full tuition waiver for up to 9 graduate credits per semester, and a credit for 50% of the cost of the UMaine health insurance policy for GAs. The Graduate School also has limited funding opportunities.

To apply for a Graduate School funding opportunity, follow the instructions on the Graduate School website. To apply for a School of Economics GA, apply early (i.e., November-January 1) and check the appropriate box on the graduate school application. No other action is required to be considered for a SOE GA.

SOE reviews applications on a rolling basis and makes two separate decisions: admission and funding. Depending on when you submit your application, you may receive these 2 decisions multiple weeks or months apart (admission decision comes first via your online application portal). We typically begin reviewing applications for Fall semester admission in November. Occasionally, an exceptional application may receive a funding decision that early or earlier, but we make most of our funding decisions in January and February. Funding decisions can extend into March, April, and even May, depending on the type of funding available, the pool of applicants, and the decisions recipients of first-round offers make. We recommend submitting your application by January 1st to be considered for funding. We do not review applications for a Spring semester start, except in very unusual circumstances.

SOE is not in charge of the application fee, so please do not contact us to request an application fee waiver. The Graduate School is in charge of the application fee, and they will post on their website if they are waiving it for some reason (uncommon).

SOE and the Graduate School sometimes offer additional funding on a competitive basis to cover research expenses and travel to present research at professional conferences. Further funding for travel and research expenses is also available through the Grant Program at the Graduate Student Government.

Students receiving standard SOE GA appointments perform teaching and research tasks. This may involve serving as a TA for undergraduate and/or graduate courses or as an RA on a faculty member’s funded research project. Students are given clear expectations about their responsibilities and are expected, on average, to work 20 hours per week. When assigning assistantships, effort is taken to match the student’s interests and background with the research and teaching needs of the school’s faculty. In addition to these standard SOE GA positions, SOE faculty often secure external research grants that support additional RA positions. These GA positions are competitive: in any given year, we may have 2-6 TA and 2-10 RA positions open. For Fall 2022 admission, we received over 100 applications for 6 total GA positions. We encourage applications from highly-qualified applicants who meet or exceed our admission requirements.

Some examples of possible Fall 2022 Graduate Assistantships

This list summarizes some upcoming potential RA needs. Some of these positions are contingent on faculty securing grant funding. Many RAs will work with industry, government and community stakeholders. Positions listed below are generally for Master’s students unless Ph.D. is specified. Please do NOT contact specific faculty members to apply for funding, unless they indicate below that is their preference. Please just check the appropriate box on the application. If you are interested in a specific funding opportunity, we recommend you identify that on your application and discuss in your personal statement why you would be a good fit for the position.

Agricultural and Development Economics. Dr. Jonathan Malacarne is looking for a student to work on topics related to the resilience of small farm operators and rural economies in a landscape characterized by rapidly changing risk factors. This project considers the impact of risk on production and investment decisions, with a strong focus on how risks are conceptualized by decision-makers. Depending on the interests and background of the student, this research will focus on vulnerable populations in Maine or abroad. Related fields: Agriculture, development, climate adaptation, risk management

Economic Policy Analysis. Dr. Jonathan Rubin and the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center have an opening for a research assistant (RA) to assist with economic policy analysis. The RA position supports the research and writing of economists and policy analysts and involves data analysis, verification of statistical and other material in manuscripts, statistical calculations, literature searches, and drafting written materials. The RA must be highly organized and detail-oriented and have the ability to gather, understand, analyze and compellingly present a wide variety of economic data. Knowledge of Python and R preferred. The actual work will vary depending on the particular project needs of the faculty and staff. Current projects include strategic investment analysis for connected and autonomous vehicles on Maine’s roads, assisting coastal communities to determine the value of their marine economies, an analysis of the Opportunity Maine tax credit and a strategic investment analysis in electric vehicle infrastructure for Maine.

One Health and the Environment Drs. Kathleen Bell, Caroline Noblet and Mario Teisl are recruiting top prospective graduate students to participate in a recently awarded NSF-funded traineeship in One Health and the Environment.  For students interested in M.S. degrees, they are looking for students with strong undergraduate training in economics, environmental economics or health economics and demonstrated interest or prior training in bio-physical sciences (e.g., biology, ecology) and/or public health. They are also open to strong students interested in UMaine’s Ph.D. in Ecology and Environmental Science Program; these students should have interdisciplinary training goals that would build on and extend prior training in economics, public health, ecology, and biology. This assistantship is NOT available to international students. For more information, contact Dr. Bell at kpbell@maine. Position is filled for Fall 2022.

Economics and Policy Aspects of the New Arctic and Arctic-Maine Connections Drs. Kathleen Bell and Keith Evans are recruiting top prospective graduate students to participate in a recently awarded NSF-funded traineeship in System Approaches for Understanding and Navigating the New Arctic (SAUNNA). For students interested in M.S. degrees, they are looking for students interested in obtaining a M.S. in Environmental/Resource Economics or Economics & being part of an interdisciplinary Arctic training program. They are also open to strong students interested in UMaine’s Ph.D. in Ecology and Environmental Science Program; these students should have interdisciplinary training goals that would build on and extend prior training in economics, law or public policy, ecology, biology, or earth science. Participation in the SAUNNA program will include access to unique learning opportunities, including field study in Greenland, engagement with stakeholders, and special training. Drs. Bell and Evans are both broadly interested in coastal natural resource management issues as well as linkages between the changing Arctic, Maine ocean and coastal ecosystems, and Maine communities. This assistantship is NOT available to international students. To be competitive for funding, please apply by 1 January 2021. For more information, contact Dr. Bell at kpbell@maine or Dr. Keith Evans at keith.evans@maine.edu. Position is filled for Fall 2022.

*If, after thoroughly reviewing ALL of the information on our Graduate Program web pages, you still have questions, please visit our FAQ page, fill out our contact form on that page, or email the Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Sharon Klein: sharon.klein@maine.edu.